Congress MLA Nana Patole has been elected as Maharashtra Assembly Speaker. He was elected unopposed as the Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Kisan Kathore took back his nomination just before the deadline. The deadline to withdraw the nomination was 10 am on Sunday. The BJP withdrew its nomination as it has been tradition in the Maharashtra Assembly for the Speaker to be elected unopposed. Patole has been elected a day after Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance cleared a floor test. The floor test was conducted by pro-term Speaker Dilip Walse Patil of the NCP.
Praising Nanat Patole, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that the Speaker comes from a farmer’s family and he will give justice to everyone.
“Nana Patole has also come from a farmer family & I am very confident that he will give justice to everyone,” Thackeray said.
Commenting on it, BJP leader and former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said they withdrew their candidate after request by other parties.
“We had nominated Kisan Kathore for the post of assembly speaker, but in all-party meeting, other parties requested us and it has been a tradition that speaker is appointed unopposed, so we accepted the request and withdrew our candidate's name,” Fadnavis said.
Both Patole and Kathore are in their fourth term as MLA. Patole, who was with the Congress earlier, quit the party and won 2014 Lok Sabha election on the BJP's ticket. However, he quit the BJP following differences with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then chief minister Devendra Fadnavis in December 2017, and returned to the Congress.
Kathore was elected as Thane zilla parishad president in 2002. He became MLA for the first time in 2004 on NCP ticket from Ambernath in Thane district. He went on to win 2009, 2014 and 2019 Assembly elections from Murbad. He contested the 2014 and 2019 elections on BJP’s ticket.
Earlier on Friday, Nationalist Congress Party MLA Dilip Walse Patil was appointed as pro-tem Speaker. He replaced BJP lawmaker Kalidas Kolambkar who was earlier this week appointed to the post.
The ruling alliance has passed the floor test as 169 MLAs in the 288-member Assembly voted in its favour, while the BJP’s 105 MLAs staged a walkout.